Tomorrow is Mother’s Day.
I still don’t quite feel like I qualify as “Mother.” More like, “Girl With Babies.”
But mother I am.
Last night my baby grabbed a sweatshirt and stood before his adored daddy, eager to go outside and do something special. But my baby was tall and slim and boyish, his hair already sun-kissed bronze and tousled, his cheeks and nose no longer rounded with the chubbiness of a toddler, his cut-off shorts and freckles screaming: BOY. Growing boy. On his way to young man. My heart squeezed. I love him. I’m proud of him. And I miss my baby.
This morning kicks and flutters woke me, and I patted my tummy in response. Our secret little code that says, “I know you’re in there, and I love you!” My mind absently turned to weeks and months and due dates and I suddenly realized, I’ve got three months left. Three months! Didn’t I just begin the second trimester? Where did it go? Only three months before this becomes more than just pregnancy’s anticipation, and there is a new baby. And I am a mother times three.
And then a little hand rubbed my back: the chubby boy who is still the baby, for now. I roll over and smile at my little bed-mate, the one who still comes in every single night, the one who is like a heat-seeking missile, stirring over and over all night long, wedging his little body as close to mine as he can manage. He smiles at me, caresses my face, gives me a kiss. He talks so much, telling me about “one time, Mama…,” making up his own little jokes, and he follows close behind his brother’s heels, happy to explore the meadow and woods and play Star Wars with the big boys. Somehow, right under my nose, he grew from my sweet baby William into a little boy, and I don’t know when or how.
Mama. Mother. That’s me. And I feel like it should be Mother-in-Training, but to these little people, there’s no training about it: it’s real life. Every day, I’m really their mama. And they grow. And I grow.
And it’s the best thing in the world.